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Nkosi Yezulu (King of The Heavens) Lyrics by We Will Worship

African Gospel Lyrics

(Sung in Zulu & Tswana)

(in Zulu)
Siyakhothama (We bow down)
Njengengelosi ezulwini (Like an angel in heaven)
Siyazithoba (We humble ourselves)
Phambi kwaBaba (Before our Father)
Thina sithi (We say)

UyiNkosi yezulu (You are the King of heaven)
UnguMdali walomhlaba (You are Creator of this earth)
Ubusa phans’ naphezulu (You reign below and above)
Konke kumi ngawe Baba (Everything holds together in you Father)

(From the Top)

(in Tswana)
Rea kgumama (We bow down)
Le mangeloi legodimo (With the angels and all heaven)
R’a ikokobetsa (We humble ourselves)
Pele haNtate (Before our Father)
Rona rere (We say)

Kgosi ya magodimong (King of the heavens)
O Mohlodi wa lefatshe (You are Creator of the earth)
O rena fatsh’ legodimo (You reign below and above)
Tsohle di ka wena Ntate (Everything holds together in you Father)

Oa halalela (You are glorious)
Oa halalela (You are glorious)
Haleluya, rea go boka! (Hallelujah…

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Baxabene Oxamu (Miriam Makeba)

Baxabene Oxamu
Miriam Makeba

Baxabene oxam’
Bexabene ngengxoxo
Bexakwe ingxuba ‘xaka

Hayi-ke-le-gqi! iQheya
Laxing’ eqhingeni
Beliqhatha ngeqhotho leqhude

[English Translation]:

The monitor lizards in an argument
They are in a heated debate
They are puzzled by a dilemma

Then (all of a sudden) a Khoi person
Got caught in the middle (of the matter)
Each was bribing him
With a piece of kudu meat

[Editor’s Note: My original intention was to transcribe and translate Busi Mhlongo’s version of the song from her UrbanZulu. In trying to find lyrics online, I stumbled across Miriam Makeba’s (the earlier) version, which I had never heard. There are a few interesting things to note about the different versions: 1) There is a difference in the pronunciation of certain phrases. It is quite certain that Mhlongo’s pronunciation is a deviation from the original, as it changes (and sometimes completely removes) the meaning and coherence of some of the lines. 2) For me, this song really highlights the fact that there are actually some significant differences between the various Nguni dialects. For example, in isiZulu iqhude is a rooster. Only now have I learnt that the name “kudu” is an anglicisation of the same word, which in isiXhosa is the word for that antelope. It makes sense! 3) While all online transcriptions I have seen show “iqhatha” (a piece of meat), both Makeba and Mhlongo clearly say “iqhotho” (a belt?). Online dictionaries list “iqhatha” as a piece of meat, which makes more sense in the context of the story. It may be that Makeba mispronounced the word; a mistake that carried through to Mhlongo’s rendition.]   

[Busi Mhlongo Lyrics]:

Kwaxabana oxamu
Bexabana ngengxoxo
Bexakwe ingxuba ‘xaka

Hayi-ke-le-gqi! iQheya
Laqhing’ eqhingeni
Liqhatha ngeqhotho leqhude

[Busi Mhlongo English Translation, as a Zulu-speaker might understand it]:

Some monitor lizards once argued
Arguing about/through a discussion
They were puzzle by a dilemma

Alas! A Khoi person
Had devised a scheme
He was causing (the) conflict
Causing conflict with a piece of rooster’s meat


ingxuba kaxaka = crisis/dilemma/trouble
iqheya = Khoi-san/light-skinned person
ukuxinga = to be stuck
ukuqhatha – the deceive/fake/cause conflict?



Impi – Juluka

1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

Impi – Juluka (Impi – Zulu for very successful song)

Impi - Juluka Impi by Juluka

History lesson: Just one day before Michael Caine bravely fended off the Zulu army, the poms took a frightful beating at the Battle of Isandlwana (possibly because they were concentrating on how to say Ee Sandal Wanna). Such was the beating they took, that Johnny Clegg became so frightened of the Zulus that he decided if you can’t beat them, join them and thus the song Impi was born.

Why history lessons at school were never as tuneful as this can only be blamed on apartheid (why not, everyone’s doing it), and dull history teachers.  Footstomping, high kicking, drum poundingly brilliant, the history lessons at school were not, but Juluka took the Battle of Isandlwana and turned it into a victorious war cry that had us dancing in the aisles. It has become a firm favourite amongst

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Unabantu Bakho (Methodist Hymn)

Unabantu Bakho

[A Methodist Hymn adopted as an anthem by my maternal family]


Unabantu bakho, Nkosi, ngezikhati zonke.
Ubangcina, ubancede eendaweni zonke.

Mabewela imifula, ubanabo wena.
Mabeshiswa ngemililo, ubanabo wena.

Lapho beshushiswa khona, boqiniswa nguwe
Nasezilwaneni, Nkosi, bagciniwe nguwe.

Bakhangela kuwe, Nkosi, labo bantu bakho.
Bayabonga, bakuthembe, labo bantu bakho.


Unabantu bakho Thixo, ngamaxesha onke.
Ubagcina, ubancede endaweni zonke.

Bakuwela imilambo, ubanabo wena
Bakutshiswa ngemililo, ubanabo wena.

Apho batshutshiswa khona, bomelezwa nguwe
Nasemarhamncweni Thixo, bagciniwe nguwe

Bakangela kuwe Nkosi, aabo bantu bakho
Babulela bakuthembe, aabo bantu bakho.

[English Translation]

You are with your people, God, at every moment.
You keep them, You help them through all things [places].

When they cross rivers, You are with them
When they are tested [burnt] by fires, You are with them.

Where they are persecuted, they will be strengthened by you
Even in the midst of danger [beasts], they have been kept by you

They look to you, Lord – these, your people.
They give thanks and trust you – these, your people.

The South African Lyrics WordPress Blog

If – like me – you often find yourself frustrated at the lack of South African song lyrics online, then this blog is for you. I will post lyrics to my favourite South African lyrics (especially ones that are difficult/impossible to find online) and also videos of songs I enjoy.

Send through your submissions and and your requests, and I’ll do my best to get them up as soon as possible.

This blog was inspired by the beautiful music of Mzansi Afrika, as well as the amazing work being done  by